Economic Multipliers (134)

Do you know what these are?

They help CREATE wealth in systems.

Photos of dew on just about anything could be an economic multiplier for future generations.


If you wanted to look at beautiful photos that could teach you something, I’d look at photos of dew … on spider webs, on plants, on buildings, on outdoor furniture and anywhere it settles. Nature is a masterful artist and fortunately many artists are willing to capture that mastery.

I was going to entitle this piece: 'Good content is an economic multiplier' because it’s ultimately about a book that most people will never read … unfortunately ...

Would you listen to a person who stutters? How about a person who is shabbily dressed?

Do you tune out people who have more or less formal and/or informal education than you?

If you read a sentence that wasn’t grammatically correct, would you still be willing to finish the text to see if the content had value or the message was good?

Recently I set aside some time (not enough) to skim / partially read a book that I believe all individuals who create apps, games and futuristic movies should skim / read.

It’s a book that I believe glass makers, bamboo producers, wool producers, basket weavers, fabric producers, food producers, botanists and food preservationists should skim / read.

It’s a book that I believe all sailors, artists, welders, architects, builders and individuals who live adjacent to oceans should skim / read.

It’s a book that I think should be required ‘skimming’ for all high school students for the pictures and graphs and data in the text that surround them.

The book is: Solar Distillation Practice for Water Desalination Systems (Tiwari and Tiwari, 2008).

Most individuals would gloss over the theoretical sections of the book.

The greater percentage would have a much easier time understanding the numbers I put together in No. 55 related to relative humidity and the value of temperature differentials versus the presentation of complementary numbers in this book.

Many might think that the book isn’t worth reading or not scholarly enough because it contains some grammatical errors that you yourself might make if you lived in a multi-lingual world.

Some might say that it is unnecessary for all high school students to read a book on solar distillation even though clean water is a necessity for every living human being.

Tiwari and Tiwari include data on combined greenhouse and distillation systems. In the introduction to the book, they noted that they need help … the kind of help that young people who like to program and create things can give … the kind of help that large corporations that could use some extra water when they build large scale projects could provide … the kind of help that ‘artists’ and others who find a fascination with nature’s dew creating abilities can offer …

Imagine how different the world might look if all the individuals engaged in conflict today had the applicable knowledge and skills and were focused on building systems that provided more clean water, more food, more resources and greater wealth to their populations.

Imagine how different the world might look today if apps were being and already were written to determine the ‘coolest’ and most efficient designs for large scale solar distillation facilities and much smaller units that blended art and function.

Imagine how different the world might look if apps writers and farmers and artists and food preservers and glass makers and boatsmen and builders and others found a way to both produce and sell more products and services … in a world where technology wasn’t being used to destroy the fabric of lives.

If we are going to solve the world’s water problems (and put some of the rising sea level back up on land), dew can help point the way.

Of course, a great project for English students … if the authors and publishers would allow it … would be for students to help edit the book to make it a bit more accessible AND come up with not only creative ideas for solar distillation unit designs but also creative ideas for marketing the concepts globally in any area they could see relevance … including:

  • cooling towers

  • cooling

  • heating

  • heat transport and transfer

  • building skins that collect water (already exist)

  • food drying

  • distilled water for industrial purposes (some people produce ‘rose water’ by distilling rose petals in water … I imagine there are many other similar applications)

  • alternative and standard uses for salt: food preservation, cleaning, disinfecting, etc. (Could highly saline water be used as a disinfectant for things like Ebola? … If so, how saline?)

I accessed the book through the interlibrary loan system: Very few individuals would find it in a local library or bookstore.

The data and text surrounding the pictures (the cover picture alone is an idea creator) covers much research done in the area of solar distillation related to wicks (wool mentioned), the impact of water depths, construction materials (bamboo wasn’t mentioned but I thought it suitable for frames for wicks … other basketry or framework material might be much better) and efficiencies with various designs and operating conditions.

Of course, if you lived in a humid climate and were an artist or welder, I think it would be cool to have a condensing tree … designed to channel condensate to a planter which produced food.

We live in a world of unknowns.

The one thing I do know is that a solar distillation unit is a rather simple to understand weather system and there are millions of young people in the world who want to figure out how they can make a difference and change the world.

Take on a challenge like this and you find that the complexity is in how human beings can interact with any kind of system in a practical and efficient manner, where the resources can come from to build and/or buy any system, how many people any system can support and whether any ‘enhancements’ (booster heat, fans, wicks, pressurization or depressurization, etc.) make sense.

If you are bored …

If you want to explore a topic which could truly change the world …

If you (and your friends) like creating ideas and designs …

Start looking at photos of dew.

A simple picture … maybe yours … might change the world.


Some added notes:

  • Distilled water tends to be acidic and acidity levels can vary based on the method of distillation and the source water. It’s good to check when using it for anything.

  • Water is a source of ‘salts’ and drinking water would normally have some salts added back in if the water was originally distilled.

  • And, you’d never want to distill brackish water containing volatile organics (like gasoline or other solvents) unless some sort of filtration (most likely carbon) was done afterward: The ‘quality’ of the brackish water matters.